5. Cybersecurity and data breaches: Could we write enough about this topic in 2012? Probably not.
"Frankly, most companies are terrible about [digital] security, because it's difficult to be secure," says Losey.
One way companies can be vigilant is by hiring experts to test your network security. Losey also recommends opening up lines of communication between the legal department and the IT department including to those "who do the day-to-day grunt work," he says, since a crisis is no time to be making introductions between tech and legal. "If there's a data breach, it's the kind of thing that should come to the attention of in-house counsel."
6. The business and legal implications of social media: Social media is presenting companies with a number of thorny legal and business issues, and companies shouldn't ignore the cyber-chatter.
"It's a good idea for a company to proactively be looking online," says Losey. "What's out there? What are people posting about you?"
On the business front, use the social media tools available to you to address negative comments. "A lot of companies do a really good job with that," says Losey. "But you don't want to not be aware that there's all kinds of bad press about you lingering, and you haven't taken an opportunity to respond."
In the legal domain of social media, keep an eye out for things like leaking of trade secrets which could end up on an employee blog and IP infringement happening via Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
"If you're keeping general track of what's out there about your company, you're going to find out if someone's using your trademark," says Losey. "You're going to see if people are violating your copyright. And that's really important to know so you can stop it."
If one thing's for sure, says Losey, it's that the items on this list will change fast, and in-house counsel need to move at the same pace as today's technology.
"The most important thing is taking the time and effort to keep up," he says.
Catherine Dunn is a reporter at Corporate Counsel, a Texas Lawyer affiliate in which this article first was published. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.